Always wanted to start your own business? Ally from Singapore-based Al’s Beauty tells us about the ups and downs of her entrepreneurial journey and the advice she has for those aspiring to embark on the same path.
Why did you start Al’s Beauty?
It was born out of my love for skincare and my need to find happiness and purpose. There are so many things to consider when finding something best suited for your skin (e.g. your skin age, skin type) and then there’s the different ways the different products react (e.g. hyaluronic acid/collagen renews skin cells whole alcohol dries it out).
Creating a product that suits all skin types was a challenge I welcomed with open arms. It brought me purpose and happiness.
How has your journey as an entrepreneur been like?
It definitely hasn’t been easy. I had zero experience in entrepreneurship and learnt everything from scratch. I had to juggle school work with this—I did research for the products, created my website, arranged for lab testing, designed the marketing kits and all that. I slept less than five hours a day and powered through with Redbull and coffee.
What were some of the challenges you faced?
Building the business was a challenge, but one of greatest challenges I faced was when I had everything set up—I’d even gotten my product approved and perfected after many testing sessions but just as I was about to launch it, the Covid-19 outbreak happened!
Still, I wanted to power through. I formed a team to promote, sell and market Al’s Beauty virtually until it was safe to do so physically. With every
struggle, there is always joy. We made our first sale and more during the pandemic and the number continued to grow even after.
Were there days where you felt like giving up? How did you cope?
I had days in which I woke up and just sat there thinking, ‘What am I doing with my life? I’m putting my all into this and it’s scary. What if I fail? I should have just focused on getting my degree instead of starting a business.’
But every time these thoughts come, I just think about the times in which I have been wronged or looked down upon. I think about my mom and how she isn’t someone who gives up, I think about why I started this company in the first place. Obstacles don’t define who I am. They challenge me and I treat them as learning points to equip me with the knowledge for future issues.
How does Al’s Beauty support women’s empowerment?
Al’s beauty aims to provide job opportunities for women who have been abused or ostracised. I want to use this as a platform to inspire others
to believe in themselves and not give in to fear.
I come from a family of strong women and had forgotten how alive and cheeky I used to be when I met with setbacks as a teenager. The hustle, the focus, the drive and determination brought pieces of those traits back to me. Without realizing it, I had become my own hero. The decision to take a stand and believe in myself was the strength and support I was hoping
someone would show me, and as women we need to realise that we just need to have a little faith in ourselves and an ounce of courage.
What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who are struggling?
A quote that kept me going through these tough times: “Failure is the greatest teacher anyone could have. You learn from your mistakes and
you get better at it.”
There were so many times I wanted to give up but this quote taught me that no matter what, as long as I’ve tried my best, even if I fail, I’d still be able to learn from it. There’s a silver lining to everything and I just want to say that pursuing your dreams takes a lot of courage but if I, a girl
who had nothing can pull myself up, so can you. You can achieve anything you put your heart to.
- female empowerment